Lent is a season of prayer and penance set aside by the Church to prepare us for Easter and to recall Our Lords’s fast in the desert (Matt 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13). This season of preparation and sanctification can be fittingly accomplished through voluntary amendment of live, acts of penance, and works of charity. Lent is a time to learn to love our souls more than our bodies. Thus every Christian should make a special effort to practice mortification and strive for holiness during the forty days of Lent.
Voluntary Amendment of Life-Give up those aspects and things that you need to give up sooner or later, namely bad habits. Your goal here is to break a bad habit once and for all, where as Lent is a good time to do so.
Examples: complaining, using vulgar words, eating and drinking junk food, watching T.V., overuse of social media/visiting bad web pages, ect
Acts of Penance-Perform some kind of penance. Your goal here is to train yourself to say “no” in little things, so that you can say “No” to bigger temptations later.
Examples: avoid eating or drinking something that you enjoy, listening to music or watching movies, playing video games, ect
Works of Charity-Perform some good and holy actions. Your goal here is to strengthen your relationship with Christ and His Beloved Church. Ideally what you begin here would continue in some way even after Lent if over.
Examples: attend daily Mass, visiting the sick or infirmed, helping at a food bank, pray the Rosary every day, spiritual reading (Sacred Scriptures and or life of a saint or saints) ect.
The Church Laws of Lenten Fast
On all the weekdays of Lent, the is, every day except Sunday, all baptized Catholics between the ages of 21 and 59 are bound to observe the Church’s law of fast.
-On days of fast, only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal.
-Meat may be taken at the principal meal on a day of fast, except Fridays, Ash Wednesday and Holy saturday.
-Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk, coffee, tea and fruit juices, are allowed.
-Where health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. Nursing mothers, heavy laborers and teachers are generally considered excused from the fast. In doubt concerning one’s obligation, the pastor or one’s confessor should be consulted.